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Byron Shire
December 10, 2022

Grow pot, pay tax, create jobs says Eden-Monaro candidate

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Mardi Grass legend Michael Balderstoneis runnign in the Eden-Monaro by-election. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Michael Balderstone from the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party based in Nimbin has decided to run in the Eden-Monaro by-election on Saturday, 4 July, 2020.

Mr Balderstone is the HEMP Party president and candidate and he will turn 72 during the by-election campaign. He has passionately continued his protest for justice since the HEMP Party began in 1992.

‘Why can’t we all grow a couple of plants like in Canberra which is surrounded by this electorate? If we were allowed home-grown for personal use across Australia, we could save billions in health care and policing costs. We could be saving money instead of wasting it,’ he said launching his campaign.

Cannabis busts a waste of taxpayers money

Mr Balderstone says that if he wins he will move to Eden-Monaro and be closer to Canberra for work on Cannabis law reform. He is also planning to take advantage of the benefits of being able to enjoy a smoke of marijuana without the threat of arrest in the Australian Capitol city because ‘you’re allowed to smoke there now’.

‘There’s plenty of work to do on law reform, the federal government needs to step in on sniffer dogs and saliva testing which are driving people to use dangerous drugs.’

A large quantity of illegally grown cannabis was seized yesterday outside Lismore. Photo NSW police.

Referring to the$22m cannabis bust that took place 52km south-east of Lismore on Wednesday Mr Balderstone points our that a better use of resources would be to utilise the knowledge and expertise of the growers in developing local industry and jobs.

Time for a hemp economy

‘Those plants looked great. Why do we keep putting our locals in jail while licensing international corporations to grow pot here instead? We have 50 years of knowledge and talent both locally and around Australia – there are 100,00 jobs waiting to happen in a legal, regulated and taxed cannabis world,’ he told Echonetdaily.

‘It’s absolutely clear our federal politicians have no idea about a genuine medical cannabis regime.

‘Current laws fail to address the criminality of millions of ordinary Aussies who enjoy a toke. It’s time to end the war and instead tax and regulate to create investment opportunities plus thousands of Cannabis industry jobs, just like we see in the USA and Canada.’

How much police strikeforces, like Strike Force Harthouse, cost taxpayers is one the police won’t answer.

‘Unfortunately, we do not provide cost breakdowns attached to investigations,’ stated a NSW police spokesperson yesterday when asked about the cost by Echonetdaily.

‘Pot is nothing like other illegal drugs like Ice,’ says Mr Balderstone.

He also points out that police resources should be aimed at the production and distribution of these dangerous drugs that are not being made legal around the world like cannabis. ‘Weed is nothing like those drugs,’ he said

Create jobs, pay taxes – legalise

Mr Balderstone says we should be giving growers the opportunity to live a legal life rather than costing the taxpayers enormous sums of money in both the resources currently expended to find and then jail growers.

‘It will cost half a million dollars a year to keep each of these people arrested on Wednesday locked up. I would provide small, affordable licences for people to produce 50kg so they can use their knowledge and talent and create jobs. But instead we are licensing international companies to come in and grow it here.’

Instead of harnessing our local expert knowledge Mr Balderstone says Australia has turned ‘all the cannabis experts into criminals. They never include us in their decisions and discussions.

‘Most people don’t grow their own. Instead of importing all our cannabis with licences costing around $1m dollars we should get locals to use their expertise. By giving them a legal life.’


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11 COMMENTS

  1. Michael speaks for so many……… especially those who
    have been forced to take medications that do terrible
    harm to the body by Specialists & GPs. Those of us
    who’ve suffered a stroke & multiple micro haemorrages
    along with borderline [plus] dementure, MS & other
    ongoing medical problems – most life threatening
    conditions, are stuck on this merry-go-round stupidity
    enforced by a Government incapable of representing
    its citizens. For the right of ‘life itself’ vote Michael in.

  2. No way! Can’t close down most of the prisons and make thousands of stormtroopers, screws and lawyers unemployed.

  3. Go Michael!!! If decriminalized, the recent $M22 bust would have provided an additional State Revenue of $M3.3 if taxed as GST, or about $M12 State revenue if taxed like tobacco. That’s the sort of economic activity led recovery, that I’d support!

  4. Michael , what I’d like to know ,
    Is how come a 72 year old hippy from Nimbin can make so much sense, while our politicians, police and even quite a few gullible members of the public, just can’t see the blindingly obvious ?
    I don’t see why politicians and their kids, can smoke dope with impunity, while adults in NSW can lose their licences, jobs etc. for blood THC that may be weeks or months after its ingestion.
    If my kids decide to use recreational drugs, please Lord let it be Hemp, not tobacco, booze, ice ,smack nor any of the thousands of mind altering substances pushed by Doctors. So far it’s McDonalds and fast-foods that are their greatest threat.
    But , I wouldn’t agree with prohibiting even those dangerous products.
    Cheers G”)

  5. Michael go hard lovey, you are a voice for all of those who do not wish to be dictated to by pen pushers. One’s whom do not espouse our choices, is, an infringement on our rights.
    ,
    Michael proposes logical and 2020 values on freedoms of liberty, harm reduction and new income source streams.

    Wake up Australia, the current broader antiquated imperial thinking is creating far more social destruction.

    Move forward and let people choose their lives, on their own terms, without vilifying a great portion of the contributing community (Puffa).

  6. If only the HEMP party supported law reform. They never have since the founders left. Not sure what folks think they are getting now. Ask why he and the HEMP Party have never supported the 2017, 2018, 2020, passable Bills to LEGALISE REAL Cannabis for medical use in NSW with Labor and Greens support in the upper house ? Is it because the black market earns so much money that law reform will get in the way? This oddly puts the black market and others that are anti-Cannabis law reform on the same side like government, and the pharmaceutical industry. Ask why in 2016, he and HEMP said nothing, and did nothing to try to stop the bad law reform that was taking place. NOTHING – Then gets 250,000 votes in the last election and still done nothing to support the bills to legalise. Laws dont change with words and wishes, they need a 51% passable bill. #JustSayin

  7. The question isn’t “Should we allow people to use cannabis?”.
    It’s “Should we ARREST people for using cannabis?”

  8. What I would like to know is how a 72 year old hippy from Nimbin is allowed to run in Eden-Monaro. He would have a lot of knowledge of local issues in the electorate – NOT. Never been a fan of one issue candidates.

  9. I am an ex cop of 22 years of street policing and sought the help and advice from Michael Balderstone last year regarding treating my veteran son who after deployments, was suffering terribly from chronic ptsd and depression after the best the ‘system’ could do was add to his problem by giving him an addiction to prescribed benzo diazepine, which could of, and nearly did kill him on several occasions. It is a most terrifying thing to witness a loved one who is chemically lobotomised by these insidiously dangerous harmaceutical drugs. There was NO proper medical assistance proffered by the western medical system dressed up as health care. Only take this pill that can kill you and cause brain damage! But they don’t tell you that. And we wonder why we have a suicide rate amongst our veterans that is at least 10 times that which were killed in that stinking war,….so far!

    We had tried the legal medicinal cannabis route, but even that was pushed back hard by the so called professionals at the Austin Hospital where they simply maintained the status quo of benzos without regard to the damage and suffering that goes with that.

    The quality of the pharmaceutically supplied CBD cannabis was inconsistent AND cost in the order of $80 to $110 a day! It was utterly unsustainable for us. We applied to DVA for funding and this was knocked back because they say there is no proof that Cannabis helps with PTSD, yet the TGA had already approved my son for it for the treatment of ptsd. On investigating we find that there is also no proof whatsoever demonstrating the worth of benzo’s for treating ptsd and a side effect of using benzo’s is depression and suicide ideation!!! Why the double standards?

    I was left with no option but to approach the black market. I was very uneasy about this because of my background and the systemic brainwashing hiding from me the true abilities of this plant as a medicine. With the genuine help, guidance and support of Michael Balderstone, my son used the black market cannabis products at less than $10 a day!!!! and from that day forward he has not needed to risk his life taking the benzos. His withdrawal issues from the benzo’s were non existent due to the quality and effectiveness of full spectrum cannabis medicine. Right now my son is in the best place he has been for 10 years….thanks to Michael Balderstone and the kind and caring HEMP Embassy staff.

    We now need to get this plant available to everybody who is suffering with PTSD or depression, including our veterans and first responders, yes even the police. Legalisation will take the money out of the organised crime syndicates and free up police time that needs to be focussed on the drug epidemic of ice.

    The prohibition of cannabis and the associated driving laws are unnecessarily fuelling the ice epidemic. The ice epidemic is massive in country areas where the drug dealing is largely un policed, always under policed. One in nine people in some country areas are using ice….that should scare you. The ice epidemic is wrecking families and causing family violence and murder at unprecedented rates in this country. Ice is impacting all of us through crime and the costs of insurance, yet precious little time is spent by police combatting this scourge because it is NOT a statistic until they charge someone. Police chiefs get their bonuses based on statistics not increasing.

    The single quickest, cheapest and easiest means to substantially curb the ice epidemic is to legalise cannabis across this country as a matter of urgency. And as a side, people will get healthier and happier, much to the disappointment of those profiteering from this current absurdity.

    The terms I would use to describe Michael Balderstone are; decent, caring, compassionate, committed, intelligent and wise. From my perspective, a better human being is hard to find.

  10. I’d just be pleased to grow 2 plants. It’s
    legal in Canberra… what the capital
    allows should apply here; no?

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